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Meade MasterClass Pro ED 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

These binoculars provide a good image but are larger and heavier than other models.

At A Glance

Meade MasterClass Pro ED 8x42 binoculars
Meade MasterClass Pro ED 8×42 binoculars. Image by Hugh Powell.


  • Bright , colorful image
  • Good edge-to-edge crispness across image
  • Wide field of view


  • Considerably heavier than other models
  • Hard blue covering with strongly textured surface is uncomfortable
  • Loose eyecups can slip off their settings


  • Price: $459 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: 5.0 feet (152 cm)
  • Field of view: 8° (420 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 31.1 oz (881 g)—that’s about 5.4 oz (152 g) heavier than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 17.8 mm

Viewing Experience: These binoculars come with nice optics, but are large and heavy enough that birders may find them cumbersome. On a dim, drizzly October day they produced rich, saturated images with ample detail—enough for us to admire the intricacies of a row of sapsucker wells on the wet trunk of an oak. The field of view and close focus are both excellent, near the top of the range for the models we’ve tested.  

Feel and Build: These are among the largest and heaviest 8×42 binoculars we’ve tested. The blue finish is distinctive, with a rather harsh feel from the hard plastic casing. Grip panels feature hard, almost sharp, nubbins that several testers found uncomfortable. Eyecups are loose and at one point slipped off their settings while in use. Comes with a basic padded strap as well as a harness-style strap to offset the weight. The neck straps clip on using standard backpack-style buckles, a nice upgrade from the fiddly friction fasteners on most binocular straps.

More on Binoculars

Comments From Testers: 

  • Larger, but felt good
  • Really sharp view and good field of view
  • Super prickly texture of body is uncomfortable
  • Didn’t like the feeling of the grips – they were too prickly
  • Very heavy
  • Heavy and the grip was a little harsh
  • A little bit difficult to adjust the focus
  • Would like them to be a bit smaller, for a smaller pair of hands.

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.  

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